Thursday, January 24, 2013
Florida State Class of 2009 review
By Corey Dowlar
Florida State's Class of 2009 lacked the star power of the last three years and eventually became a mixed bag of success and disappointment.
At the top of the class were top players at their position -- defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel and Greg Reid. And while McDaniel's career hasn't finished yet, there is a feeling of dissatisfaction for both.
Reid's career was full of highs and lows, much like the way he played. He produced huge, highlight-reel plays that impacted wins, but was also on the wrong end of some big missed assignments.
He was a major factor on the football field and his return abilities were missed. Then his career was cut short when he was removed from the team due to off-field issues which left Seminoles fans wondering what could have been with another year.
Lonnie Pryor was the No. 30 RB in the 2009 class but would eventually become an Orange Bowl MVP at Florida State.
McDaniel has had a solid career, but maybe not what fans would expect from a No. 1 defensive tackle prospect. The 2011 season saw him begin to emerge and play with more consistency, but it would be short-lived. An ugly leg injury at Duke kept him out for rest of the season and he spent 2012 recovering and redshirting to prepare for the 2013 season.
Willie Downs, C.J. Mizell, and John Prior never made an impact and left campus way before graduating, in Downs' case, before he even enrolled.
Demonte McAllister contributes along the defensive line and has come into his own at defensive tackle after putting on some good size and strength. Rodney Smith, Lonnie Pryor, Chris Thompson, Bryan Stork and Dan Hicks have all played at a relatively high level.
Brandon Jenkins and Xavier Rhodes, though, were the true gems of the class.
Both players will go on to the NFL this spring. Jenkins, having suffered a foot injury that sidelined him before his senior season got started, is still a relative unknown in terms of projection. Rhodes, on the other hand, figures to be a high pick for some franchise.
Then there’s kicker Dustin Hopkins. He became the most-prolific FBS kicker in NCAA history which speaks volumes about his career in Tallahassee.
So while there were definitely some quality signees from 2009, there were some total losses, too. And under the current Jimbo Fisher-led administration, that many total misses would be unacceptable, and since his introduction in 2010, there haven't been that many.